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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my Vulcan S since May of 2021 and I LOVE it! I'm small statured (29 inch inseam) so it fits me really well, and has plenty enough power for me. That said, I don't really feel its a good bike for long trips. It does fine on the expressway but I do get blown around quite a bit due to the light weight. And while it is comfortable enough, after about 45 minutes my hips and rear end start to hurt. So my question is, would it make sense to "upgrade" to a 900? I feel like the extra weight would help on the expressway, but also be a bit more cumbersome at slow speeds in town. I'm also a little concerned about the ergonomics given my small stature. Everything I've been reading here and elsewhere is that the 900 is a great first bike for large persons, which I'm not. So am I going to be leaning forward/stretched out too much to be comfortable?
 

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In order to answer your question about upgrading from a Vulcan S to a: VN900, Goldwing, Ultra Glide, Venture, K1600, I recommend you ride a:Goldwing, VN900, Ultra Glide, Venture, K1600 and see what YOU like. Many other flavors out there besides the Vulcan S. Shorter taller faster slower. Never know what you might find.

PS. Never sell a bike...just keep adding bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I could afford to just have a garage full of bikes butttt... As for trying out lots of bikes, sure good advice. Just wanted to see if there were any other short-ish people on here who have experience with both bikes. I will say that touring bikes i.e. the Goldwing will be a hard pass for me. I just have no desire to ride around on an 800+ pound bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any reason to upgrade from a Vulcan S?
Yes, the local dealership needs your money. :LOL: :LOL:

If seat height is a concern, try a Yamaha 950. In general Yamahas sit a little lower compared to a lot of bikes
LoL. Seat height isn't a concern with either Vulcan. My main hesitancy with the 900 is power to weight ratio. They need to make it lighter considering that the Indian Scout and Sportster 1200 are both well under 600 lbs wet with bigger engines. Just MO.
 

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LoL. Seat height isn't a concern with either Vulcan. My main hesitancy with the 900 is power to weight ratio. They need to make it lighter considering that the Indian Scout and Sportster 1200 are both well under 600 lbs wet with bigger engines. Just MO.

Ahhhh.. so, it is a loaded question and you have already made up your mind. Well... they aint gonna make the VN900 any lighter or any more horsepower..... so, it is all up to you....again.
 

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Vulcan 900 cc and up engines are considered cruiser class bikes. Generally cruisers are not built for speed
They are built more for comfort and cruising open roads. That is why they are heavier. (heavier bike = smoother ride)

If you are looking for a light weight speed demon you probably should be looking at sport bikes.

Cruiser bikes are not agile like a sport bike, but they are not as hard to ride as you might think.
You don't have to be the incredible hulk to ride even the largest cruisers. As long as you can flat foot the bike you should be able to handle it OK
Kawasaki and Yamaha bikes are very well engineered and balanced bikes. Once you get rolling they are not hard to ride. The big difference is in close quarter maneuvering like in small parking lots.
 

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Matthew, the Vulcan S is fairly light but you do have to wind the engine up a bit to get HP from the engine. The VN900 is different. It's not a perfect bike, but is very nice. I also have a 29 inch inseam and have no problem riding it, but I have a classic with floor boards The engine can rev pretty high (7100 redline), but the tuning is for low end torque, so it starts to run out of puff as you approach the top end. I think it has good urban maneuverability, but it does get a bit tiring with continuous stop and go traffic. Mine is a classic LT, which is about 40 pounds heavier then a classic or custom. It is not a sport cruiser like the Vulcan S, it's more of a stable relaxed cruiser. It does do very well on the highway. Some complain it really needs a sixth gear, but does fine with 5, it just revs a bit high at 70 MPH (4000 rpm with stock gearing and tires) and some say it can be a bit buzzy at that speed. I don't find it buzzy, so depends on your sensitivity I guess.

The power is a bit lower than the Vulcan S, but it's there when you need it, as I have always found the power to be enough in every situation. It has tremendous range with a 5.3 gal tank. I can do up to 230 miles between fill ups. Probably like the Vulcan S, the bike is very reliable, since it's a Kawasaki. It's also a bit lower tech (no ABS), since it was developed 9 years before the Vulcan S. Also, the stock seat is not great, you might needs an aftermarket seat to help with the hip and tailbone issues. The 2013 and later seat is generally better than the stock seat for earlier models.

I think the best thing you can do is to ride one before you buy one. You could check with Twisted Road or somewhere else where you can rent one for a whole day to see what it's like. It would be well worth the money. You should at least take a test ride at a dealer. Bottom line, the VN900 is the most popular of all the Vulcans, and there are good reasons why it has stayed in production this long.
 

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I had this same dilemma between the 900 Custom and Vulcan S Cafe. Both were same price. After test driving both I came home with the Vulcan S. The KVS had more power, handle better and was much more fun to ride.
 

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Cruiser bikes are not agile like a sport bike, but they are not as hard to ride as you might think.
I feel like this is an underrated sentiment. I remember riding my father in law's Electraglide, preparing to have to wrestle with all that weight to get it going where I want. In reality, that bike was super easy to maneuver for me - I just had to provide the right inputs and let the bike do the work for me. Coming from a Bonneville that weighed half as much, it was really an eye opener for me.

As has been mentioned, the 900s weigh in north of 600lb but don't handle like it IMO. My custom is eager to go where I point it and it doesn't feel too heavy walking the bike either. Admittedly I'm finding myself wanting a few extra ponies on the high end but overall it's something that I feel almost anyone would thoroughly enjoy riding.
 

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As has been mentioned, the 900s weigh in north of 600lb but don't handle like it IMO. My custom is eager to go where I point it and it doesn't feel too heavy walking the bike either. Admittedly I'm finding myself wanting a few extra ponies on the high end but overall it's something that I feel almost anyone would thoroughly enjoy riding.
The 900's are in a really sweet spot regarding weight. I had a Yamaha 950 (very similar to 900 Kawi) and i didn't even have to worry about where I parked. I could back it up even on an incline and I'm not that strong. They are also pretty maneuverable. If that Yamaha 950 had been geared a little better I would still be riding it today.
 

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LoL. Seat height isn't a concern with either Vulcan. My main hesitancy with the 900 is power to weight ratio. They need to make it lighter considering that the Indian Scout and Sportster 1200 are both well under 600 lbs wet with bigger engines. Just MO.
I've never rode or even sat on a Scout so I can't comment about them.
Every HD I ever sat on was incredibly wonky. They are top heavy and not balanced at all. This may not bother you, but weight is a factor it something to consider
 

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I'd be happy with a Vulcan 650S if I still lived in the city.. Way back when I did, I rode a KZ-650 4cyl for almost 10 years. Was perfect for zipping around in stop and go heavy traffic.

I'm in the country now and 95% of my riding is on the highway. I didn't want a really big bike so I went with the 900 LE because the displacement was a bit larger and it came with the factory installed windshield and bags. (I don't like riding on the highway for extended periods without a windshield)... And I was too lazy to mess around with aftermarket stuff.

The 900 isn't all that 'peppy'... The speed limit on the road at the end of my driveway is 60mph. I usually have the throttle twisted as far as it will go to get up to highway speed whenever there is traffic to merge in with. But, it's not a big concern to me. It's not normally a busy road and most of the time I'm just cruising. But despite that, passing power on 2 Way highways is pretty good. And it's not too bad in the city. I can be first off the light if I need to be.

All and all the 900 is a pretty good bike. I've got two full seasons in the saddle now... I'd recommend getting one.
 

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Matthew, Like yourself I am vertically challenged and the 900lt weighs in at around 5 times my weight.
However, I have no hesitancy in recommending the bike to you. Being a cruiser, and having a longer wheelbase, it is a little less manoeuvrable than sport bikes around town, but not substantially so.
Most of my recreational riding is done on highways and the weight does help with windy conditions. As far as reach goes, again I have no problem and typically ride for 2-3 hours before stopping to fuel up, without any discomfort. I do have a custom made seat with backrest, which helps a great deal compared to the stock set up.I am able to sit in a slightly reclining position with a relaxed hold on the handlebars.
I too recommend getting one.
 

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I've had my Vulcan S since May of 2021 and I LOVE it! I'm small statured (29 inch inseam) so it fits me really well, and has plenty enough power for me. That said, I don't really feel its a good bike for long trips. It does fine on the expressway but I do get blown around quite a bit due to the light weight. And while it is comfortable enough, after about 45 minutes my hips and rear end start to hurt. So my question is, would it make sense to "upgrade" to a 900? I feel like the extra weight would help on the expressway, but also be a bit more cumbersome at slow speeds in town. I'm also a little concerned about the ergonomics given my small stature. Everything I've been reading here and elsewhere is that the 900 is a great first bike for large persons, which I'm not. So am I going to be leaning forward/stretched out too much to be comfortable?
Hellooo from Brazil .

What about a midnite star test , large bike 950cc , I myself dig big custom so much ....I have 1 vulcan 1500Vn . 😎 plz me muchh.
 

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Hellooo from Brazil .

What about a midnite star test , large bike 950cc , I myself dig big custom so much ....I have 1 vulcan 1500Vn . 😎 plz me muchh.
Hi Andrei.hello from Brazil too. I am new in this forum but seems is different what we have in Brazil. Here the opinions have consistency and really help us. Nice to know there are brasileiros ..um abraco
 

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I've had my Vulcan S since May of 2021 and I LOVE it! I'm small statured (29 inch inseam) so it fits me really well, and has plenty enough power for me. That said, I don't really feel its a good bike for long trips. It does fine on the expressway but I do get blown around quite a bit due to the light weight. And while it is comfortable enough, after about 45 minutes my hips and rear end start to hurt. So my question is, would it make sense to "upgrade" to a 900? I feel like the extra weight would help on the expressway, but also be a bit more cumbersome at slow speeds in town. I'm also a little concerned about the ergonomics given my small stature. Everything I've been reading here and elsewhere is that the 900 is a great first bike for large persons, which I'm not. So am I going to be leaning forward/stretched out too much to be comfortable?
the following is my opinion only, take it with a grain of salt:

it sounds like you are considering a touring bike /long distance cruiser. if it were me, i would first consider how much i planned to use it. if it's one or 2 trips/year, i personally wouldn't do it. that would also depend on just how long those trips were, and how important they were to me.

there are lots of bikes out there that will do the job, but if you're going to get a machine for a specific task, then i would do exactly that.
like i said, this is just my opinion, but i think there are ALOT of bikes that would do a better job of long distance cruising than a 900 vulcan will. it will do the job, but it is not the job it was designed to do. for a long distance cruiser, my personal favorite is the suzuki c90t. if you can afford it, the vaquero or voyager is better still. i would have said nomad, but they don't make those anymore. if you want full on touring, nothing beats a goldwing, period.
 

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the following is my opinion only, take it with a grain of salt:

it sounds like you are considering a touring bike /long distance cruiser. if it were me, i would first consider how much i planned to use it. if it's one or 2 trips/year, i personally wouldn't do it. that would also depend on just how long those trips were, and how important they were to me.

there are lots of bikes out there that will do the job, but if you're going to get a machine for a specific task, then i would do exactly that.
like i said, this is just my opinion, but i think there are ALOT of bikes that would do a better job of long distance cruising than a 900 vulcan will. it will do the job, but it is not the job it was designed to do. for a long distance cruiser, my personal favorite is the suzuki c90t. if you can afford it, the vaquero or voyager is better still. i would have said nomad, but they don't make those anymore. if you want full on touring, nothing beats a goldwing, period.
Agreed on the purpose. I was able to take some longer rides this year. Spent about 7-8 hrs on the 900 one day, 4 of them consecutive, and that was definitely pushing the limits of its comfort. It's a great bike for most uses, but long miles aren't its forte, especially on a custom sans windshield.
 

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I've had my Vulcan S since May of 2021 and I LOVE it! I'm small statured (29 inch inseam) so it fits me really well, and has plenty enough power for me. That said, I don't really feel its a good bike for long trips. It does fine on the expressway but I do get blown around quite a bit due to the light weight. And while it is comfortable enough, after about 45 minutes my hips and rear end start to hurt. So my question is, would it make sense to "upgrade" to a 900? I feel like the extra weight would help on the expressway, but also be a bit more cumbersome at slow speeds in town. I'm also a little concerned about the ergonomics given my small stature. Everything I've been reading here and elsewhere is that the 900 is a great first bike for large persons, which I'm not. So am I going to be leaning forward/stretched out too much to be comfortable?
Hey Matthew, yes, a bigger bike will definitely help you a bit from getn blown around!! If you really love the bike, hold onto it, get used to the feeling, as un unnervingly as that can get, lol. Maybe buy a new, more comfortable seat for it!! Just a thought!! Ive been riding a long time now and you NEED to be physically comfortable to a degree!!
 
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